by Natalie Griffin, Greenheart Travel high school student in Finland
On February 27th, we woke up at 3 in the morning and left for Lapland by 3:30 am. A car ride from here to Lapland is usually around 11 hours long but it was even longer for us because we drove into Sweden too and stopped at many of the “ABC” rest stops on the way.
Also, we were following Tomi’s parents to their cabin first which was in another part of Lapland. By the time we finally got to our cabin it was too late to do anything. We were all tired so me and Jasmin just played in the snow for a bit before going back inside to sleep.
The next day we all slept in, but right after breakfast we put our ski equipment on and then walked to the ski hill that was very close to our cottage. Since I had never downhill skied before, Tomi stayed with me at a training hill and taught me how to ski while Sari and Jasmin went on the actual mountain. Halfway through our time there they switched and Sari stayed with me instead for a bit until we went home for dinner.
After dinner, we drove to the top of the mountain and took pictures of the sunset. There was so much snow that all the trees were bent over and only looked like bumps coming up from the snowy ground. On our drive back me and Jasmin were dropped off at the shopping area near our cottage to browse through souvenir shops. Neither of us had money but we planned out what we wanted to buy. Once it started getting too late and we had went through all the stores, we walked home.
On February 29th, I went skiing with Sari on a not steep hill while Tomi and Jasmin went skiing on bigger hills. After a little while we decided to go back so that Sari could make dinner so we walked home. However, when we got to our cottage and knocked on the door no one answered. We didn’t have keys with us because Kasper was at home but he couldn’t hear us. We knocked on the doors and windows and Sari threw snowballs at a window, but it was the wrong one. So after 1 hour and 40 minutes of waiting in the cold, Tomi and Jasmin came back and they had a key.
On March 1st, I went shopping with Jasmin in the morning and bought many souvenirs. Then when we walked back to the cottage, Jasmin’s friend was there and she left to go skiing with her friend and Tomi went with her friend’s dad. So me and Sari walked to a hiking path in the ski place. The start of our home was normal but then we weren’t sure which way to go. Sari lead the way to where she thought we were supposed to go but it brought us to a snow shoeing path where the snow was much to fluffy to walk in. While we were lost, we ran into two French people snow shoeing and the guy showed us their map because they were also lost. After some confusion were able to make it to the right path.
On March 3rd, me and Jasmin went sledding in the morning. At the hill we were sledding on there was even a small “sled lift” where you would sit on the sled and then grab on to a rope that would pull you up the hill. After sledding we walked home and discovered we had the perfect hill to sled on at our cottage too so we spent some more time sledding there before actually going inside the cottage.
When Sari and Tomi came back from skiing, we went to an ice village that was a place made out of snow and ice with amazing designs and cool lights. The village is actually a hotel that people can stay in and has many different rooms for guests and a restaurant, bar, and chapel. We spent a lot of time there walking around the place and taking many pictures so by the time we got back home it was too late to do anything else but sleep.
On March 4th, we went to a Lapland village and saw many reindeer and dogs. There was a dog sledding thing that we came just in time to see. We also looked at old type building and walked around two different villages, but there wasn’t much to do there so we left early on and went shopping. I bought a couple more things and then helped Jasmin find gifts for her friends.
On March 5th, we had to drive home from vacation but first we drove to Sweden in order to go to a huge candy store called Candy World. We all bought a ton of candy there and then continued driving to find a place to eat.
Finally after eating we were on our way home, but while driving out of Lapland we saw Santa’s Village and stopped there to walk around. We didn’t get to see Santa though because pictures with him were very expensive, but seeing the place was cool enough.
Our ride from there was normal and we got home at around 11 and then FaceTimed my family and ate and showered. Which I then afterwards FaceTimed my sister at around 12 so I wasn’t ready for bed till very very late, but even though it was a long day I had a lot of fun.